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Do you think you’re better off alone? (2020), Zoom performance, 50 minutes

Commissioned by the Royal Standard in Liverpool, Do you think you’re better off alone? is a DJ’d lecture accompanied by YouTube videos, originally presented on Zoom. The piece is an exploration of 90s Eurodance, typically characterised by a lyrical preoccupation with the word ‘freedom’, an emotively charged minor key, references to severe weather, and beats that suggest states of both euphoria and emergency. Eurodance, I argue, is a fantasty genre of irrational optimism and desperate, unanswerable questioning.

The piece considers 90s Eurodance’s cognitive dissonance as a reflection of the 'split between the decade’s self understanding — how it was imagined and anticipated — and the material ways in which it was actually experienced.’* Through a series of ‘close listenings’, I offer ways to interpret Eurodance's artefacts as both expressions of their time and portents of our present political crises.

The work was also programmed as part of VIRTUALLYREALITY SS21: The Long Triumph.

*Gavin Jacobson, The 1990s: An age without qualities, New Statesman.

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